This week, I joined President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on a trip to Atlanta, Georgia to highlight the importance and urgency of protecting and passing critical voting rights legislation. During our time in Atlanta, and privately on Air Force One and Air Force Two, the President and Vice President forcefully made the case for the Senate to overcome the abuse of filibuster rules to pass the Freedom to Vote Act and the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and protect Americans’ access to the ballot box.
I have been leading the effort in the Senate on both voting rights and reforming Senate rules to end the paralysis and gridlock and restore deliberation, debate, and negotiation. This Congress has the opportunity — and the responsibility — to make a powerful contribution to America’s legacy of ‘We the People’ governance, by stepping up and protecting Americans’ sacred votes and voices. Just in the last year, 19 state legislatures have passed new laws making it harder to vote, and especially targeting Black, Native American, low-income, and young voters. We must guarantee that every American has the freedom to cast their ballot free of intimidation, obstruction, and voter suppression, and to have their vote counted.
The Senate will decide in the next week whether we will safeguard Americans’ freedom to vote or allow power to be seized against the will of the American people. This is a critical inflection point for our nation. Will we be on the side of voter empowerment and listening to the will of the people? Or will we allow the rich and powerful to further rig our elections and drown out the views of ordinary Americans? I know which side I’m on.
I will never stop fighting to ensure every Americans’ sacred right to vote is protected and that all voices are fairly and safely heard in deciding the direction they want their government to go in.
Your vote matters, regardless of your viewpoints, and I will do everything I can to ensure your voice is heard, always.
All my best,
Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon